Muñeca Brava - La Apuesta Part 1 of 12

Le debés quiniento' mango' a tu amiguito, quiniento' mango' a tu amig'... ¿Y querés saber otra cosa? A mí también me debés quinientos mangos...
"You owe your little buddy five hundred bucks, five hundred bucks to your li'l... And you want to know something else? You owe me five hundred bucks too..."
[Captions 7,8, Muñeca Brava > La Apuesta, Apuesta, Part 1]

In our latest episode of Muñeca Brava, Mili is clearly looking for revenge. So why is she mumbling about mangos and gansos? Milagros is always shouting clever and poignant argentinismos, that’s why we have to head far south to figure out what she is saying.

Milagros asks Ivo for quinientos mangos (500 mangos) and later on for quinientos pesos (500 pesos), pesos being Argentina's currency. So it's fairly clear that while everywhere else mango is a fruit, in the land of tango, it’s also a common slang for “money.”

That was easy to figure out, but then Mili says:

No te olvides de esto. Los quiero ahora. Poniendo estaba la gansa... ¡vamos!
Don’t forget about this. I want them now. Pay up... let's go!"
[Caption 19, Muñeca Brava > La Apuesta, Apuesta, Part 1]

Un ganso is a male goose (also known in English as a "gander"). As we learned previously, ser ganso means "being a fool." Gansa, however, is a female goose (known in English as a "goose"), and one of the meanings of poner is "to lay" (as in "laying an egg"), so poniendo estaba la gansa literally means "laying was the goose."

However, another meaning of poner is to "to contribute" or "shell out" or "pay up." Here are some examples:

¿Van a poner para el regalo de María?
"Are you going to chip in/contribute for María´s present?"

No te preocupes, si no podés poner $50, poné menos.
"Don´t worry, if you can´t put in $50, put in less."

Mi tío se puso con $1000 para el viaje de egresados.
"My uncle shelled out $1000 for my graduation trip."

Si te casás, tu papá va a tener que ponerse.
"If you get married, your father will have to shell out/cough up [the money]."

Poniendo estaba la gansa plays on these two possible meanings of poner ("to lay" and "to pay"). Some sources report that the complete phrase is poniendo estaba la gansa, que era gorda y estaba mansa ("laying eggs was the goose, who was fat and was tame") and that it comes from an old children's game. In actuality, we can't find an Argentine who's ever played the game (and some doubt that such a game ever existed). All agree that this expression is considered rather vulgar and low-class, which is no less than what we would expect from Milagros.

No voy a pagar porque a alguien se le ocurra decir 'poniendo estaba la gansa'.
"I'm not going to pay just because someone says 'poniendo estaba la gansa'."
-Sergio Dalla Lasta, quoted in LasIntesis.Com.Ar

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